(Image credit Jim Dedmon/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
The NFL season kicked off where the New York Jets lost to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium 19-14. In the game, there were many players that impressed me and others that were disappointing. In this list, I will go through five players that both were impressive and disappointing.
1. Players Who Impressed - QB Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson continues to impress me every game. He had thrown for 258 yards 2 touchdowns and 1 interception (which was not his fault). He was under a ton of pressure all game as the offensive line was completely terrible and failed to protect him. Zach Wilson was sacked 6 times and was pressured a total of 10 times which is ridiculous. At one moment I thought he was injured but luckily he was only shaken up. It also doesn't help that Elijah Moore (we will get to him later) and other receivers failed to catch the football on many occasions. Now let's get into the interception by Panthers Linebacker Shaq Thompson who had a great game and was a big bright spot for the Carolina Panthers. That throw was to Daniel Brown who first off why he was on offense was ridiculous and B was lucky for Thompson as he tipped it and with his level of awareness caught the football. It also wasn't Wilson's fault that he kept getting pressured during that throw. Overall Wilson had a strong performance and hopefully, his o-line and receivers do a good job vs the New England Patriots next week.
2. Player Who Disappointed - RB Michael Carter
The running back core did not perform well against the Carolina Panthers. The one that disappointed me the most was Michael Carter. First off it was absolutely ridiculous that the team only gave 9 carries to Tevin Coleman, 4 to Ty Johnson, and the one that annoyed me the most was giving Carter only 4 carries. Carter when he got opportunities did not do much. Johnson on the other hand had a solid 12-yard run. Carter needs to be a better route runner as he was a little sloppy. Carter did have a solid 14-yard catch but if he cleans up his route running he could be a weapon for the offense. Now the running backs did not have any support from the o-line and hopefully, they, including Carter, perform well in future games.
3. Players Who Impressed - WR Corey Davis
Corey Davis continues to show how he is the best free-agent signing that the team has made during the offseason. Davis vs the Carolina Panthers made 5 catches for 97 yards and even had two touchdowns in this game. He was easily the best receiver in this game as he can hold onto the ball and not drop it. Davis every year continues to improve his route running as it is getting smoother and smoother. He impressed me with how wide-open he was during one of his touchdowns. Not only is it clear that the coaching staff and Zach Wilson have a ton of confidence in him but now the fanbase has confidence in him if he can stay healthy. I would absolutely bring Corey Davis on your fantasy team as he is going to be the most consistent receiver on this team.
4. Player Who Disappointed - WR Elijah Moore
Yikes, this was not a good performance by Elijah Moore. He was targeted four times in this game and he had dropped the ball two times. That is not a good start in his first NFL game. The only catch he made was not a productive one as Moore only had -3 yards receiving. Keep in mind that he was coming off with a quad injury and since he is a rookie he is going to have growing pains. This was a missed opportunity for Elijah Moore to shine as Jamison Crowder tested positive for Covid-19 and Keelan Cole suffered a knee injury that could take Cole out next week as well. But it disappointed me with the drops that he had and he needs to improve vs New England.
5. Players Who Impressed - WR Braxton Berrios
I have been on record multiple times saying that Braxton Berrios is terrible on offense and should only be utilized on special teams. His performance against Carolina impressed me. He clearly during training camp and the offseason put in the work to improve his skills on offense. I just wish that he showcased this during the preseason. In this game, he had 5 catches for 51 yards. What impressed me was the 25-yard reception that he had during the 4th quarter where the Jets were coming back. In this game, he proved my opinions on him earlier wrong for now. Hopefully, he can keep this momentum up and improve his play on offense and if he does then Berrios could be a good weapon to utilize both on special teams and offense.
6.. Player Who Disappointed - The Offensive Line
Wow, I thought this o-line was going to have a ton of potential this season. Now before we get into the negatives Alijah Vera-Tucker was okay but needs to be consistent with his blocking. Now let's get to the true Negatives. Connor McGovern what the heck happened. This was easily his worst performance throughout his Jet career as he often got beaten by multiple defenders and was a liability as a run blocker and pass protecting for Wilson. Greg Van Roten was absolutely terrible all game as he failed to open up holes in the o-line which led to the running game not performing well. George Fant won the starting right tackle spot and rewarded the team with a terrible performance as he was sloppy with his hand usage, poor with his footwork, and was inconsistent as a pass protector. This o-line was absolutely terrible and Zach Wilson took a beating and was sacked six times. More bad news, Mekhi Becton will be out a few games due to an MCL injury which is a massive blow to this offensive line. Before we move on I have to say this please get better at protecting Zach Wilson as we don't want to have another Joe Burrow 2.0 moment happen with him.
7. Players Who Impressed - CB Michael Carter II
The secondary was absolutely brutal vs the Carolina Panthers. The only player that performed well and impressed me is rookie Michael Carter II. He was super impressive in coverage and has strong hand usage as he deflected the football multiple times. He has solid footwork and was solid in man-to-man coverage. Carter is a very physical tackler as once he wraps his arms around an offensive player they will go down. If he keeps this up in future games Carter could be a future piece for this defense.
8. Player Who Disappointed - LB Hamsah Nasirildeen
It was not a good day at all for the Linebackers. CJ Mosley was so-so and Jamien Sherwood left the game with an ankle injury. The one player I was disappointed with was Hamsah Nasirildeen as he struggled all day covering Christian McCaffrey and even had a few missed tackles in this game. Nasirildeen needs to step it up now that Sherwood is out due to injury but this linebacker core excluding Mosley is absolutely a mess.
9. Players Who Impressed - K Matt Ammendola
What a performance by Matt Ammendola. It is not because of his kicking as he did not attempt a field goal or an extra point. What impressed me is how well he performed as a punter. I got to say this kid has got a lot of leg strength. He kicked a 65-yard punt which is insane for Ammendola who has not punted in many years. Want to know another fact that will shock you, this punt alone is longer than Braden Mann’s punts last season. Mann’s longest punt last season was 60 yards. Braden Mann left the game due to a scary leg injury and I doubt he plays the next few weeks. It will be interesting who the Jets sign to replace him. If Ammendola does not have a successful kicking career he could have a future as a punter in the league. He has the posture and the leg strength to do it. Kudos to Ammendola for his performance replacing Braden Mann and I am excited to see this guy kick longer field goals in future games.
10 Players Who Disappointed - S Sheldrick Redwine
The secondary was absolutely brutal vs the Carolina Panthers. The player that was the most brutal was safety, Sheldrick Redwine. Redwine was recently signed by the New York Jets after he was released from the Cleveland Browns. He was originally taken by the Browns in the 4th round 119th overall during the 2019 NFL Draft. He was the backup safety that was brought into play after starter Lamarcus Joyner left the game due to an injury. He had an opportunity to impress and oh boy he did not perform well. Two plays showcased how disappointed I was in him. Let's start with the long 27-yard completion to DJ Moore where Redwine was blown in coverage. The play that all but benched him later in the game was the 57-yard touchdown by Robby Anderson and he was poor in covering Anderson. After that, he was benched by the team. Redwine better improve as he could lose his job if he continues to perform this badly